AUSTIN January 22, 2019 - The Texas Department of State Health Services is notifying people who visited the Erath County Humane Society Jan. 3-15 that they may need to be assessed for a possible rabies exposure. A dog housed at the shelter, at 891 East Road in Stephenville, developed rabies and was capable of spreading the virus that causes it during those dates. The Humane Society describes the dog as a 6-month-old tan and white lab mix that weighed about 20 pounds named Miss Furbulous.
Rabies is spread through the saliva of infected animals. Anyone who was bitten or scratched by the dog or had contact between the animal’s saliva and an open wound or mucous membrane like the eyes, nose or mouth should be evaluated for a rabies exposure. Someone in that situation should contact their health care provider as soon as possible and explain the situation. People who didn’t have that kind of contact with the puppy are not at a risk of contracting the disease.
Rabies can be prevented if treatment is started before symptoms begin, however, once symptoms start, it’s almost always fatal. It usually takes between three weeks and three months for someone exposed to rabies to get sick. People who visited the animal shelter or health care professionals who have questions may contact DSHS at 817-825-9230.